Hot Yoga ruins ice cream

Ice cream was my one and only vice until hot yoga ruined it.

Growing up, I was a geek. On Friday nights, I went to the library with my best friend. When I was 16 I was disciplined for lack of communication that’s my parentspeak for ‘grounded’ because I came home late. It was about 9 pm on a Sunday night because I had gone to an evening service at my friend’s church.

I’ve never done drugs. I’ve smoked a cigarette once, under the willow tree by our creek with my friend and I thought it was disgusting and never did it again. I’ve never been drunk. When I was a teenager I’d occasionally have a sip or small glass of homemade wine and eggnog at holiday meals because it was grown up and my siblings couldn’t.

My first real drink was suggested by my good friend and made by my father-in-law when I was 22, a Brown Cow - Kahlua and milk, or the closest thing to chocolate milk that she could come up with. And I think the last drink I had was at my divorce party over 6 years ago.

But ice cream. Mmmm, now that’s something to crave.

Hard ice cream over soft. In a bowl, not a cone. Always chocolate, never vanilla. I mean, if you’re desperate and chocolate is not available, then vanilla with chocolate ripple or chocolate chips could be had grudgingly.

When I was about seven, my Aunt, who’s 13 years older than me worked at a Best’s, an ice cream store in Grand Bend, a tourist beach town, during the summer. I’m not sure why she didn’t have a car or why her boyfriend didn’t pick her up, but one night my Oma took me to pick her up.

I got a mountain of their homemade triple chocolate (chocolate icecream, chocolate ripple and chocolate chips) in a bowl and sat out on the picnic table in the warm summer’s night waiting for her to finish whilst listening to the buzz - a mix of excited teenagers paired with cranky toddlers and tired parents. It was quite possibly the best ice cream on the planet and I scraped the bowl clean.

Growing up as the oldest of five, I’d get to babysit my siblings and after they were in bed, then I’d practice my super sneaky spy moves for a good cause - ice cream of course.

First, I’d take a spoon from the drawer and slowly open up the deep freezer. This required great stealth because if I opened it quickly it would squeak and they’d know what I was doing and want some. Next I’d prop the lid on my shoulder, whilst I reached down to find the ice cream. Then I’d carefully slide the box out and slowly lower the lid back down. Phew, phase 1 complete.

Next whilst balancing on the shoes that were always left in front of the freezer I’d shave off two millimetres across the top of the whole box so that no one would notice. Then I’d have another layer if I still had time - no kids coming downstairs or the sound of my parent’s cars. The muffler seemed to be perpetually broken, which was embarrassing to be dropped off at school in, but super useful to know when to stop eating ice cream.

Finally, I’d have to put the box back in exactly where it was, slowly lower the lid, wash the spoon, put it back in the drawer. Turn off the light, sprint upstairs and dive under the covers. Leaving enough time for my breathing and heart rate to slow down before they would check in on me.

When I lived in New Zealand, ice cream was also a focal point for my work colleagues and I. We’d walk the 10 minutes down George St to the local mall and by mall I really mean a small gathering of shops in three consecutive buildings. Fargate would have more shops. And in the mall was an ice cream store. We’d go there if an experiment didn’t go right. Or after a rough meeting with our supervisor. Or simply for a break mid week. And I’d get the white chocolate raspberry ripple when I was feeling fancy. Or chocolate when I wasn’t.

Until I started hot yoga. Because I was doing Bikram yoga, the sequence of poses, the heat, even the words the instructors say was the same every single time it really highlighted how I wasn’t the same each time I came into the room. I started to notice that sometimes I’d have this horrible awful yucky mucousy feeling at the back of my throat in class. Occasionally it even felt like I was going to gag from it. Finally I clued in. Every time I had ice cream that day or the day before I did a class, that feeling was there. No ice cream. No awful feeling.

And eventually I decided that it just wasn’t worth it. Although I surprised my co-workers when I didn’t order ice cream and got a juice smoothie instead, they really thought I was crazy when I said that I can’t have ice cream because I was going to yoga that night and it ruins my class.

And even though I missed it, it just wasn’t worth it. Being able to breath and focus in yoga was much more important to me, than a bowl of ice cream. And it was at that point that I knew I had changed. Who I was before starting hot yoga would never understand, but for me now, it was a no-brainer.  

How about you? Have you noticed anything similar? Something that you used to love, but now it ruins something else you love even more, so it has to go? Let us know over on our Facebook page.

By the way, there are loads more dairy-free options now and my current favourites are Mint Chocolate Chip and Ben and Jerry’s Peanut Butter and Cookies, which is not available in the UK right now. And probably a good thing :)